Thursday 1 May 2008 3.55pm
I am pleased that we are kept on our toes by discriminating readers/users, but given the explicit allegation of "cash for coverage" I feel I should make a few things clear for the avoidance of any misunderstanding:
- We don't run advertorials. If we ever did, they would be clearly labelled as such.
- Oliver approached us last year about running a feature/business news item on his new business. Given that a) he's a local resident and b) the area of operation of his business is the same as that of this website, it seemed a good fit. SE1 Relocation was on our features planning list some time before any talk of collaborating on this property section came up.
- I wish we were a big enough organisation to have a rigid demarcation between editorial and sales/commercial activity. Personally I don't at all enjoy selling ads and doing commercial deals.
- However, I am always clear when I talk to advertisers that they can't automatically expect editorial coverage from us on the back of it, though it undoubtedly happens in other publications.
- Whilst I wouldn't by any means claim the piece we ran on SE1 Relocation was our finest moment of investigative journalism, I maintain the inclusion of such an item on this site was justified. It's all part of the mix.
- As I said to Beowulf by email when I received a complaint from her re. the article in question, I would like to run more profiles of small local businesses. It's simply a time factor that prevents this. We do have several such profiles in the pipeline though.
- The bottom line is that I would hope you can trust that if something appears in one of our editorial sections, it is on our terms, not anyone else's. We don't offer copy approval, for instance. If we run something it is because we consider that it will be of genuine interest to at least some of our readers.
But, like I said, I am pleased that people hold us to high standards.
We've been doing this for a decade (as of today, in fact!) and of course sometimes we will make the wrong call.